Building Android for the Asus Eee PC 701

NOTE as of 2009-02-19:

These instructions are now probably out of date. Thanks everyone for the discussion and the links. If you’re really interested in this, you should probably check out the android-porting google group / mailing list.


BIG RED FLASHY WARNING

  • THIS WILL wipe whatever you have installed on your Eee PC
  • THIS IS at a rather experimental stage, so don’t expect everything to function appropriately

Now that you’ve read the warnings, I’ll point out that I’ve posted an installation image below. If you want to roll your own, continue from here.

Instructions

  1. READ THE WARNINGS – I won’t be held responsible if you nuke your Eee PC
  2. Get the source by following these instructions.
  3. Create a local_manifest.xml file in your .repo directory with the following contents:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <manifest>
    <project name="platform/vendor/asus/eee_701" \ path="vendor/asus/eee_701"/>
    </manifest>
  4. Sync – do another repo sync to pull the eee_701 stuff
  5. Build – type

    TARGET_ARCH=x86 TARGET_PRODUCT=eee_701 DISABLE_DEXPREOPT=true make -j8 installer_img
  6. Wait … It’ll take a while, particularly webkit
  7. Make installer USB stick

    dd if=out/target/product/eee_701/installer.img of=/dev/<usbstick of your choice>
  8. BIOS Settings – Go into the BIOS settings (press F2 on boot) and set the boot device order so that the hard drive comes first. Also under IDE configuration set the internal flash drive to load before any USB drives. ADDED 2008-12-21 – You must also turn off the SD card reader for the installation procedure.
  9. Boot – Plug the usb stick into your Eee PC and boot from it. When the BIOS screen comes up, press the ‘Esc’ key to get the boot menu. Select the USB drive. You should be presented with a rudimentary installer menu. Quickly press an arrow and select option 0 (sysloader), then press Enter.
  10. Let the install run – When it’s done type “reboot” and hit enter. Once it reboots, wait a few seconds and then the android boot screen will appear. Tada!

Note that wifi and many other things don’t work right now, so I’m trying to figure them out. I’ll post the installation image shortly, and more details here as I find them.

These instructions are mostly based on information found here.

Here’s a screenshot from the awful camera on my android phone:

Android Cupcake on the Eee PC

Android Cupcake on the Eee PC

UPDATE: 2008-12-20 19:12Z

Image for your consumption is here (mirror) (torrent). (Please use the torrent if you can). This is governed by the Apache 2.0 and GNU GPL Licenses. The sources are currently available from Google.

UPDATE: 2009-01-03 22:51Z

For the pedants, and my conscience. (On a related note, hello Slashdot and Gizmodo visitors.)
The software included in this product contains copyrighted software that is licensed under the GPL. A copy of that license is available here (2008-01-04 – Link typo fixed, sorry). You may obtain the complete Corresponding Source code from me for a period of three years after the binary was posted, which will be no earlier than 2011-12-20, by sending a money order or check for $5 to:

Brock M. Tice
PO BOX 17416
Saint Paul, MN 55117

Please write “source for Android EeePC build ” in the memo line of your payment.

This offer is valid to anyone in receipt of this information.

107 thoughts on “Building Android for the Asus Eee PC 701

  1. sid77

    Nice post! I’ll try as soon as possible an android build :-P
    About the kernel: I’d suggest going straight with 2.6.28.x as it has everything needed by an eeepc 70x (atl2 and ath5k)

    ciao

  2. Brock Tice Post author

    Until I can get a kernel build, or get the build tree of the prebuilt kernel, I can’t get wifi working. Apparently the GUI is also not prepared to load differently-named wifi modules, although that could certainly be hacked.

  3. multimolti

    Hi!
    I downloaded your IMG file and used “dd” to copy it to my USB thumbdrive, but somehow it’s not working.
    When my Eee PC boots from the USB thumbdrive, many lines of console stuff are rushing through my display, it often says A N D R O I D and stuff, but at some point I get an error:
    ANDROID [ 5.492799] init: Unable to open persistent property directory /data/property errno: 2
    sh: can’t access tty: Waiting for device /dev/block/sdb2

    Then there is some more [sdc] stuff, and in the bottom line I can type commands. Don’t know what to do, when I enter “reboot” it reboots and no change it made to my SDDs (WinXP and Win7 are still there).

    What can I do? Please help me!

  4. Brock Tice Post author

    Please check the directions in this post — you need to turn off your SD card reader in the BIOS, and set your boot order appropriately.

  5. multimolti

    SD card reader is turned off, and I think the other things are configured correctly as well.

    Boot Device Priority:
    1. HDD:SM-ASUS-PHISON
    2. Removable Dev.
    3. ATAPI CD-ROM

    Hard Disk Drives:
    1. HDD:SM-ASUS-PHISON
    2. HDD:SS-ASUS-PHISON
    3. USB:

  6. sameb0at

    multimolti, I’m having the same issue on my eee 900.

    Keep me posted if you get it to work, I really don’t know what I’m doing.

  7. Iuri Fiedoruk

    Does anyoe tryied putting this into a SD card instead of the internal SDD of the eeePC unit?
    If possible, I could give a try. I do not want to void my ubuntu installation.

  8. Keija

    hello, i’m really interested in this work! sadly, the installer stops when trying to

    “writing raw image ‘data/system/img’ to ‘dev/block/sda7′ (offset =0)”

    is there a solution (or diagnosis) for this problem? i dd multiple times but always got the same error :S … sd card is deactivated

  9. Brock Tice Post author

    Keija,
    I’m not sure. I’m not really an expert, and I haven’t been messing around with this lately. I suggest you (and others) join and post to the android-porting google group, where much more knowledgeable people than I can answer your question. Good luck!

  10. Keija

    Thanks for your answer. I think i’ll wait, until there is a new version with wi-fi or so :) my programming skills are limited to (one semester of) java programming ;)
    but nonetheless i’ll follow this project! i can imagine android beeing ideal for the 701, beeing lightweight and designed for a small screen :)

  11. multimolti

    Hey, I have another problem…
    I did the dd if=out/target/product/eee_701/installer.img of=/dev/ stuff to create my bootable thumbdrive, but its not working (see comments above).
    Now I want to use my 4GB stick as usual, but Windows XP detects it only as 4,35MB stick. I formatted it 3 times, no help, I think the hidden partition takes it all.
    How can I get my 4GB back? Please help!!!

  12. etx

    multi you may have a partition map still on there. try dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/’yourdevice’ to zero it out and then repartition in the OS your wanting to use it in.

  13. Wang

    Hello,
    I fallow the steps to build image, and the image is generated successfully and workable thanks.
    But I has a question, When I boot the eeepc by your image, the api_demos and dev_tools are included to the menu, and I can run the application, such as terminal emulator, but if I boot eeepc by myself image, the api_demos and dev_tools do no exsit, is there any motification of Makefile, generic.mk, or other files ?
    Thank you.

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  15. keating

    Could you provide the kernel config? I use the kernel config in vendor/asus/eee_701 to re-compile kernel and it fail.

  16. Brock Tice Post author

    I used the pre-built kernel, which is supposedly compiled with the config file in that directory. However, the kernel source in the tree is not of the same version. If you want to use that config, try getting the same kernel version from the Android tree. I think it’s 2.6.25?

  17. Martin

    multimolti, delete all partions on the USB stick using Linux, either gParted or cfdisk. Then format it in fat32 with either one of those tools, and then use windows to do a full format on it using device defaults options in the format window. I hope this helps.

  18. multimolti

    Hi Martin,
    Thanks for the tip but I did it already using Windows XP. If you go to the partition manager, you will see every partition and can delete them, then format the USB stick again with FAT32.

  19. Nada

    Hmmm, how do I shut it down. Tried the shutdown command, but get an error message that it’s not allowed…

    Realy cool, wonder what I’m going to use it for?

  20. ehung

    Hi, everyone:
    I have a problem about booting from the USB thumbdrive of eeepc 901. I get an error:
    ==============================
    ANDROID [ 2.947380] init: Unable to open persistent property directory /data/property errno: 2
    VFS: Cna’t find an ext2 filesystem on dev sdb2
    Waiting for device: /dev/block/sdb2
    Device /dev/block/sdb2 ready
    init: untracked pid 883 exited
    Could not mount /dev/block/sdb2 on /data as ext2
    sh: can’t access tty; job control turned off
    …………omitted……….
    ===============================
    And I have check my USB stick.
    The cmdline, kernel, ramdisk are be in sdb1, and boot.img, bootdr.bin, system.img, userdata.img are be in sdb2.
    Maybe Someone can give me some suggestion to boot android in my eeepc 901.
    Thanks in advance.

    ehung

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  24. Psirus

    yes i checked the MD5 of the dowloaded image….i allways stucked in a loop or something else…”GRUB loading Stage2….”

    btw i try to install it on a samsung Q1 …actually the same hardware like an eee besides the it use a HDD

  25. nada

    Psirus:

    Did you turn off the SD-card reader in Bios? It doesn’t install unless you do this.

  26. lars

    Martin,

    I also have a MSI wind and can’t find a way to disable the card reader. How did you manage to boot it ? I get the GRUB loading msg and the flashing cursor…

  27. Daniel

    I’m having this error running on VirtualBox:

    ANDROID [ 5.706849] init: Unable to open persistent property directory /data/property errno: 2
    sh: can’t access tty; job control turned off
    I/installer( 1621): Waiting for device: /dev/block/sdb2

    Then it gives me a shell. And I get stucked here;
    Any suggestions? Thanks!

  28. Beyounn

    You need to find the real device node used by usb and then run /system/bin/installer -p /dev/block/whatever node

  29. carnagex420x

    ANDROID [ 5.706849] init: Unable to open persistent property directory /data/property errno: 2
    sh: can’t access tty; job control turned off
    I/installer( 1621): Waiting for device: /dev/block/sdb2

    Then it gives me a shell. Same here!

    #2 Thoughts

    1) Only sda1-8 are listed so the internal drive is not being detected.

    2)I still dont know how to mount the second partition to /data.

  30. Iuri Fiedoruk

    I wish someone could make a updated image with version 1.5 that was just release. Anyone? :)

  31. Nootilus

    Heya, I downloaded your IMG file and succeded in creating the USB key with it. Managed to boot the eeePc on the key. So it booted with a matrix-like fall of verbose lines and suddently stopped at this one:

    [ 8.494929] sd 2:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0

    And nothing else. If I press return, I have the command-line and can type in “reboot”.

    What should I do?

    Thanks anyway for all the good work and tips here ;)

  32. Nootilus

    Addentum to my issue: I discovered several error messages atop the one where the boot stucks. They are:

    ANDROID [ 4.011280] init: unable to open persistent property directory /data/property errno: 2
    # I/installer( 1865): Waiting for device: /dev/block/sdb2

    I don’t know it those are hints of what’s going wrong. I also have to tell you my comp is an asus eeePc 701 first gen (2gb sdd) with 2gb of RAM, actually running eeeBuntu 2.

    Thanks again if you can help me.

  33. YaManicKill

    I’m looking at porting this to my Lenovo Ideapad S10e, and was wondering what I would need to change in the xml file, and the build instructions to do this?

  34. andyhdsn1

    Hey, i have been reading up on android running on netbooks, and the couple of “DIY” posts i have seen have been for the eee pc. Is there any reason why? because i would LOVE to have this running on my Acer Aspire One. Is this possible? If so anyone got any ideas on how to do it?

    Thanks in advance

  35. flavian

    Hey, i have download android code and get installer.img, but i have some errors on my EeePC:

    [drm] LVDS-8: set mode 900×480 14
    console: switching to colour frame buffer device 100×30
    sh: can’t access tty; job control turned off
    scsi 2:0:0:0 Direct-Access USB 2.0 CardReader Sd0 0100 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0
    sd 2:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI removale disk
    sd 2:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg1 type 0
    android_power: wakeup(0->0) at 1016***
    android_power: wakeup(0->0) at *******
    android_power: wakeup(0->0) at *******
    android_power: wakeup(0->0) at *******
    (this message appeared about every 5 seconds)

    What should I do?

    Thanks anyway for all the good work and tips here

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